This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
The final day of Round 2 at the French Open provided us with yet another improbable result, as Daniel Altmaier fought off match points and withstood over five hours of play to get the better of World No. 9 Jannik Sinner. This article series also provided a couple of major upsets for prospective bettors who are paying attention, as Xinyu Wang got the better of Rebecca Peterson and our (+320) underdog Kayla Day took out Madison Keys. As always, all Tennis Odds & Lines are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but prospective bettors should feel free to search for the best lines available for these matches by checking mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, or any of the other best sports betting sites.
As a reminder, the men play best-of-five-set matches at Grand Slams, while women's matches are best of three just like the remainder of the WTA Tour schedule. In order to make our picks, we consider things like career records at Roland Garros, recent form, and head-to-head match scores against an opponent where available. We will highlight underdogs in the first section labeled "Upset Alert," while significant favorites will be listed in the "Lock it in" section. Finally, we'll take a look at players who can be had at a bargain in the "Value Bet" section.
It's the third round in Paris, which means it's time to test the match fitness of players who may not have spent much time on the court this year. Djokovic is a prime target in this regard, having played just eight matches on clay heading into the event. While he hasn't been pushed too hard in the first two rounds, he didn't have it all his way against Marton Fucsovics, as he was broken three times and had to save nine break points overall. Fokina got the better of "Joker" when the two played in Morocco in 2022, and I think we can take advantage of a price that looks to still be considering Djokovic as the best player in the world.
Varillas' win as a 2-to-1 underdog in the "honorable mention" section on Tuesday gets him promoted to write-up status ahead of his match with Hurkacz. The Polish player had just seven matches under his belt prior to Roland Garros and has now played back-to-back five-set tilts against David Goffin and Tallon Griekspoor. The same can be said for Varillas, but the Peruvian was in cruise control in the latter half of his win against Roberto Bautista Agut, losing just two games in the final two sets. It's also worth noting that Varillas has played in 29 matches on clay this year, which should aid in his tolerance if he needs to endure another long outing.
Lock it in
Kokkinakis was one of our value plays in the last round against Stan Wawrinka, and the Australian made things uncomfortably close, prevailing in five sets. It's clear that Kokkinakis had trouble dealing with the power of Wawrinka throughout the match, as he faced a whopping 14 break points and allowed 53 winners. He will not have the luxury of an opponent who will slow down during the final stretch, as Khachanov breezed through Radu Albot in three sets to advance to Round 3.
It's not often we can look at such recent history when making our picks, but we don't have to go far to find an edge here, as Svitolina bested Blinkova in straight sets to win the title in Strasbourg prior to the start of this tournament. Her run of success continued in Roland Garros, as she easily dispatched World No. 24 Martina Trevisan to advance to the second round. Blinkova notched a big pelt when she took out Caroline Garcia in Round 2, but it's worth wondering what kind of shape she will be in after a match that saw her face 18 break points.
Fognini has yet to drop a set in this tournament, but we can't forget that his wins have come against a wildly out-of-form Felix Auger-Aliassime, and a player in Jason Kubler who held a 5-6 record on clay coming into this tournament. By contrast, Ofner has logged a sparkling 29-9 mark on clay this season and dealt with far tougher competition in his six sets, besting hard-hitting Maxime Cressy before taking out the 24th seed in Sebastian Korda. We thank Fognini for getting us our first upset in Round 1, but it seems the run for the Italian stops here.
When trying to prognosticate during the French Open, it doesn't hurt to be dealing with opponents who have a history with each other in the event. Begu beat Muchova here in three sets in 2019 before notching a two-set win against her in Spain earlier this year. If the head-to-head record isn't enough, we'll note that Begu has lost just nine games in the first two rounds at Roland Garros, while Muchova was handed a bagel before regrouping in her second-round match against Nadia Podoroska. We can forgive Begu for spoiling our second-round upset prediction so handily, particularly if she is able to repeat history here.